Summary: Ruth was called a woman of noble and faithful character. The book of Ruth is a romantic drama of the life of a Godly non-Jewish woman who had trust in Jehovah-Jirah. She was also committed to staying with her grieving mother-in-law through the crisis of l
Today we are looking at extraordinary woman of faith who has no fame, fortune or position of power. Yet this extra-ordinary non-Jewish woman finds her story being told centuries later. She does not perform any miracles in her story, she does not change the course of a nation in her story nor her children, she does become a leader in her nation, she does become a hero of the faith as she helps another person through the process of loss, grief and restoration.
Thesis: Ruth was called a woman of noble and faithful character. The book of Ruth is a romantic drama of the life of a Godly non-Jewish woman who had trust in Jehovah-Jirah. She was also committed to staying with her grieving mother-in-law through the crisis of loss, grief and eventually to the blessing of finding their kinsman redeemer.
Key Verses: Ruth 1:15-18:
15“Look,” said Naomi, “your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her.”
16But Ruth replied, “Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.
17Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.”
18When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.
The story of Ruth has the following key characteristics: Key Word: Redeem - Key Phrase: Kinsman - Redeemer
I. The crisis of famine, death, poverty and grief (Ruth 1:1-22).
II. The response of the Kinsman Redeemer to compassion, persistence, hard work and faith (Ruth 2:1-3:1).
III. The story ends with a happy ending (3:1-4:22).
This book is taken from the time of the Book of Judges. The nation of Israel is in anarchy, chaos and apostasy. This story happens around the time that Gideon is one of the Judges of Israel. The romantic love story centers in upon a woman named Ruth. Ruth was not Jewish but a Moabite who had married a Jewish man. Her ancestors were from Lot's line. The Moabites were birthed by Lot having an incestuous union with his eldest daughter according to Genesis 19:30-38. The son born out of this sin was "Moab". The Moabites were into the cultic worship of the local deities and practiced Baal worship. The book of Ruth opens up with a tragedy but ends in victory. We see a woman who responds to tragedy with a clear statement about her purpose in life Ruth 1: 16, 17. She commits to staying with her grieving mother-in-law till her death and they set out on a journey to return to Israel. Ruth gives up all she knows for her mother-in-law and finds herself involved in a new romance and in a place where she can bring deliverance and restoration back to her and her mother-in-law. She heeds the instructions of her Mother-in-law and wins the affection of her redeemer Boaz. Through the path of obedience and teach-ability she opens the door for her re-marriage and her and Naomi’s redemption from the loss and grief of their former life.
The story parallels what our Kinsman-Redeemer does for each of us at the point of salvation. That Kinsman –Redeemer is Jesus Christ. He is the one who rescues us from our lives our loss, grief, bondage caused by sin. He is the one who willingly paid the price for our deliverance and restoration.
T. S. - Let's look into this romantic drama of Ruth and learn how to deal with the emotions of grief!
I. The crisis and the grief (Ruth 1:1-2:3)
A. The death of loved ones and the grief, pain and anger.
1. The father-in-law dies crisis one and then about 10 years later so do her 2 sons crisis two.
2. The grief of Naomi is very clear in this story of Ruth
a. Naomi feels hopelessness, helpless and cursed by God.
1.) Remember she grew up knowing about Jehovah.
2.) She loses all that she loves and has cared for and then has to return home in a state of grief, loss and crisis.
b. Don’t forget that Ruth herself is in the process of grief as well! She has lost her husband and part of her family too!
B. This morning I would like to help you understand a little about the emotion of grief: We all need to learn the importance of Good Grief:
1. Dr. H Norman Wright tells this story: My wife and I had just arrived home from vacation, and the phone rang. It was our house painter. He said, “I remembered that your son died. My daughter just lost two of her little boys. Can you help her?” We agreed, so my wife and I made an appointment. This young, mother came in and, as best as she could, told us the story. Her husband had been depressed and even suicidal for some time. He was under the care of both a psychiatrist and a psychologist. He had been treated for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). With medications, but it was discovered later that he was actually bipolar. He had become increasingly depressed a few days earlier. He said that he wanted to take the boys down to the beach and asked his wife to go with him. She said she preferred to stay home with their five-month-old baby. He took his five-and six-year-old sons to the beach, took out a handgun, killed them and attempted to kill himself, which he bungled. Hours later the police came to her home; but it was the media person who broke the news to her holding a microphone in her face, asking “How does it feel to know that your husband killed your children?” How would you feel, and what would you do or say? This was possibly one of the most difficult and painful cases for us to handle. Often after a session, my wife and I would both cry for that woman’s pain and some of our own, which had been activated once again. We spent over two years working with her. The entire community came to her support. The 31 mothers of the preschool where her sons attended provided dinner each night for her and her son for the next year. This was an example of what it means to minister in the name of Jesus (Crisis and Trauma Counseling, pages 14, 15).